Remember last week how I was going on and on about how much I loved running in cold weather? Well, Mother Nature showed me: You want cold weather? Here’s a high in the low teens with a feels-like temp around 1. Um, no thanks. When my fingers instantly turn into popsicles while I’m wearing thick, heavy ski gloves, I don’t want to be outside. (I had to “thaw” my fingers after coming inside from taking the dog for a walk by running them under warm water…they were burning from the cold, if that makes sense.) Since I’m not training for a race, it was a no-brainer to skip running on Tuesday.
But when I woke up yesterday morning, the temp was just 13 degrees, with a feels-like temp even lower, so I planned to run after work. When I left work, it was a balmy 30 degrees. Felt like summer, ha ha! But then I saw the text from my husband reminding me he was meeting a friend right after work and wouldn’t be home until later.
Because my greyhound Django is at home all day by himself, I hate leaving him alone in the evenings unless I don’t have any other choice. So I had just about resigned myself to skipping my run again when I decided I’d just take Django with me!
We have had Django for a two-and-a-half years, but I’ve never taken him running. Greyhounds are one of the fastest land animals and are only behind Cheetahs in reaching top speed (for greyhounds, 45 mph) in just a few seconds. Um, yeah–we are not the same pace. In addition, greyhounds are built for sprinting, not endurance running. So you have to train them up to run longer distances, and I’ve been so focused on training myself up that I never really thought about him. But last night I figured it was either no run or a try at running with him, so I figured we’d give it a shot.
He did great!!!
Greyhounds by nature are extremely well-behaved, and Django and I have done several obedience classes together (he is a certified Canine Good Citizen!). So I had no concerns about him having manners on the trail. My concern was that he constantly wants to stop and read pee mail. If there is a really good spot, he will want to sniff every blade of grass and particle of dirt until he has sniffed all that he can possibly sniff. So my concern was of him constantly wanting to stop, sniff, and pee.
I let him do his usual sniffing on the walk to the trail, but as soon as we got there said, “Let’s run!” and took off. I’m not sure if he was trained at the track to run with a trainer, but he immediately fell into step right at my side. We started off at about a 10:30 pace, which is a trot for him. He did a great job at running for a good stretch before stopping so didn’t stop too often. Each time he was running beside me, I praised him. Unfortunately, I forgot to start my Garmin when we first started, and then I kept pausing it when we’d stop and would forget to turn it back on, so I don’t know the mileage or time. But we were running a route I know well, and I’d say we were about .75 miles out before turning around and heading back.
On the way back there was construction on our side of the trail and nothing for him to stop and sniff, so we had a really nice stretch of straight running. At that point, though, he was starting to lag behind me. When he did I would say, “Good job!” and he would get really happy from the praise and would surge ahead, ha ha!
It was getting pretty dark at the end and I didn’t have a light so I was doubly worried at not only what I might be stepping in or tripping on but him as well. Next time we will have to run when it’s light.
Overall I’d say we ran a little over one mile, which is really great for his first time! I think I could definitely train him to run longer, but I would only be able to run with him on fun runs where I’m okay stopping occasionally for him.
After the run he had some treats and then passed out on his bed. I think he liked it!